June 24, 2005

Parineeta

The fact that the four of us ended up laughing our guts out during the most serious parts of the movie should give you an indication about how awful Parineeta was. For all the shining reviews that he has received, Vidhu Vinod Chopra has not come not more than a handful of inches from his 1942: A Love Story days and that too can be attributed to the better production quality more than anything else. I am being told that the book is much better than the movie, but as a rule a motion picture should stand out on its own than make the original work an excuse for its own pathetic existence.

At its best the film is a good wannabe effort and at its worst it ends up being a rib tickler when it tries its best to be serious. Sanjay Dutt looked unbearably bad and half the time I was expecting him to go "Circuit, kutch kar na!" I am still at a loss for trying to understand what exactly was Dia Mirza trying to do in the little time she did get to grace the screen and for heaven's sake, why in the world did we need so many songs? The exceptions were Saif Ali Khan and Vidya Balan who were outstanding in their performances, but even they shared no on-screen chemistry, which would have made it a bit more bearable.

The lasting image from the movie are the last five minutes where a very agitated Saif is trying to break down the wall separating him and his love -- first with a spade, then with a crowbar and finally with something that looked like a marble mini fountain -- going hammer and tongs at the wall (no, product placement on that one as far as I could remember) while everyone minus his father stands screaming at him to break it all down, in a surreal 'swing away' like moment from another weird-yet-much-loved-movie Signs. Pathetic, but very funny.